Washington: Observing that the electoral college map is less solid for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton than it was four years ago for outgoing president Barack Obama, a top American pollster today said the former Secretary of State is one state away from potentially losing the electoral college.
"The electoral college map is actually less solid for Clinton than it was for Obama four years ago where four years ago we had Obama ahead in states totaling 320 some electoral votes," forecasting guru Nate Silver told ABC New Sunday.
"Clinton has about 270, so she's one state away from potentially losing the electoral college. You'd rather be in her shoes than Donald Trump's but it's not a terribly safe position," he said.
Silver is considered the foremost pollster in the US having correctly predicted the 2008 and 2012 elections.
The former Secretary of State and First Lady, Silver argued, is a lot weaker in the Midwest where four years ago Obama was leading in Ohio by four points.
"Clinton's probably a couple of points behind there. Iowa, maybe the best poll in the country, the Des Moines Register Poll showed her down seven points in Iowa, a state she'll probably lose," he said.
"So the demographics for Clinton don't actually work as well when you underperform among white noncollege voters but it's contesting the electoral college. Her electoral college polling in the swing states is a little bit weaker than Obama's. So in some sense, it's a deceptively large or small lead for Clinton in some ways whereas Obama had a bigger lead electorally than you'd thing," Silver said.
"The other thing is that we see lots of polls that show numbers like Clinton 44 per cent, Trump 40 per cent. If you only have 44 per cent of the vote that means you're vulnerable if most of the undecideds break in certain way whereas four years ago it was like Obama 49, Romney 46. So, in that sense both candidates still need a good turnout on election day and still have their work cut out for them," he argued.
If Clinton were to beat her polls by three points and you see something we call a borderline landslide, but if it goes the other way, and all of a sudden Trump could very easily win the electoral college, he stressed.
Turnout of voters, in particular that of the African American community matters a lot to in the final results.
"It is true that Democrats have a larger base, and so if Clinton gets her voters to turn out and the weakest part of that might be African-Americans who turned out in very big numbers for President Obama four ago and eight years ago, maybe millennial voters.
"If they turn out in big numbers, and there are better signs for Democrats in states like Florida and North Carolina recently, then she's in a pretty safe position," he said.
"If they don't, though, and if there is a big white working class vote for Trump, if you see some suburban Republicans convert back to Trump at the last minute because he's been relatively quiet on the campaign trail, that's a case in which she could lose potentially.